Brahmi, or Bacopa monnieri, is one of the most important herbs in ayurveda. This plant is known for its powerful benefits for the brain, earning it the title of “Herb of Grace.” It’s been shown to improve memory, learning, and cognitive function.1
Yet, like all good things, too much of brahmi can also be harmful. Know about these 7 side effects of brahmi before including it in your diet.
1. Slow Heart Rate
Brahmi has a sedative effect. If you’re feeling super tense, it can save the day! On the other hand, if you have cardiac issues, it can cause serious problems.2
Individuals with bradycardia, or slow heart rate, should avoid brahmi. If your heartbeat slows down too much, you might experience fatigue and dizziness. Additional symptoms include confusion, shortness of breath, fainting, and possible heart failure.3
2. Muscular Fatigue
Since this herb has a calming impact on the body, overdoing it paves the way for muscular fatigue and weakness.4 Everyday activities like walking up the stairs get tougher with the overuse of brahmi.
3. Increased Thyroid Hormones
Another side effect of brahmi is an overactive thyroid gland. This can spiral into hyperthyroidism, a condition marked by high levels of the thyroid hormone.5
If you have hypothyroidism, this may actually benefit you. But if your levels are normal – or if you already have hyperthyroidism – brahmi will make things worse. Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include fatigue, poor concentration, hair loss, hand tremors, sleep problems, and palpitations.6
4. Poor Fertility
The hormonal side effect of brahmi will affect other parts of your life too. In women, hyperthyroidism is linked to irregular menstruation, which can make conceiving difficult.7 In turn, it’ll be hard to keep track of ovulation.
Men can also suffer from fertility problems. When the thyroid gland is overactive, sperm quality and production will decrease and the male sex organs won’t function well either.8
5. Digestive Problems
Excessive use of brahmi can stress out the digestive system. There’s a greater chance of experiencing increased bowel movements, stomach cramps, and indigestion.9 This can make you feel queasy and nauseous, which is never fun to deal with.10
6. Weight Gain
If you’re trying to lose weight, be cautious about using brahmi. This herb will more likely increase your appetite instead of reducing it.11 This effect has been observed with a daily dose of 300 mg; so smaller amounts might be appropriate.
However, the bigger appetite might be helpful in certain scenarios. For example, if you were just sick or had surgery, eating more will heal you right up.
7. Dry Mouth
Taking brahmi can make your mouth super dry. This can be uncomfortable, especially if you already have xerostomia (or dry mouth). Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and some medications may also cause dryness.12
Without enough saliva, you’ll have a greater risk for cavities and other infections. It might be tricky to eat and talk properly.13 Unsurprisingly, this side effect will also spark excessive thirst and increased urination.14
- If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before consuming brahmi.
- Whether you’re using brahmi pills, powder, or tea, do so in moderation and follow the instructions on the packaging.
So use responsibly and reap all the wonderful benefits of this powerful herbal remedy.
|↑1||Stough, Con, Hemant Singh, and Andrea Zangara. “Mechanisms, efficacy, and safety of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) for cognitive and brain enhancement.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2015 (2015).|
|↑2||Dementia. University of Medical Maryland Center.|
|↑3||Bradycardia | Slow Heart Rate. American Heart Association.|
|↑4, ↑11, ↑12, ↑14||Stough, Con, J. Lloyd, J. Clarke, L. Downey, C. Hutchison, T. Rodgers, and P. Nathan. “The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects.” Psychopharmacology 156, no. 4 (2001): 481-484.|
|↑5||Kar, A., S. Panda, and S. Bharti. “Relative efficacy of three medicinal plant extracts in the alteration of thyroid hormone concentrations in male mice.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 81, no. 2 (2002): 281-285.|
|↑7||Hyperthyroidism. U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑8||Krajewska-Kulak, Elzbieta, and Pallav Sengupta. “Thyroid function in male infertility.” Frontiers in endocrinology 4 (2013): 174.|
|↑9||Morgan, Annette Kay. “Grey matters: does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons.” Theses (2006): 59.|
|↑10||Stough, Con, J. Lloyd, J. Clarke, L. Downey, C. Hutchison, T. Rodgers, and P. Nathan. “The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects.” Psychopharmacology 156, no. 4 (2001): 481-484.|
|↑13||Dry Mouth (Xerostomia). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.|